II. Walking Route “Salon of the Republic”

Salon of the Republic The 3.5 km-long route around the modern city takes about 2 hours at a gentle walking pace. The first of the 11 stops can be found in front of the Museum of Eastern Bohemia on Eliška’s Embankment. While strolling along the monumental embankments and pedestrian boulevards you will come to realise why the unique urban concept and structures designed by Kotěra, Gočár and other significant architects of the early 20th century led to the city deservedly being named the Salon of the Republic.

Stop 1 - Museum | Stop 2 – Smetana’s Embankment | Stop 3 – Freedom Square | Stop 4 – Masaryk Square | Stop 5 - Ulrich Square | Stop 6 - Congregation of the Priest Ambrož | Stop 7 – Gočár’s Schools | Stop 8 - Hydroelectric Power Station on the River Elbe | Stop 9 - Confluence of the Rivers Elbe and Orlice | Stop 10 - Jirásek’s Park | Stop 11 - At Grand


Map-salon-of-the-republic

Salon of the Republic - map for download.pdf


Stop 1 - Museum

The building of the Museum of Eastern Bohemia, originally the Municipal Museum, was built in 1909–1913. Its author is the architect Jan Kotěra, a leading personality of Czech modern architecture. Kotěra designed not only the building, which was the first monumental structure of modern architecture in Hradec Králové, but also its original interior fixtures and fittings and partially also the decoration. Apart from him other significant artists contributed to the interior décor, such as – Stanislav Sucharda (allegorical figures on the frontage), František Kysela (grisaille glass), Jan Preisler (mosaic designs) and Franta Anýž (works of applied art). The museum is the only building in Hradec Králové, which is listed as national cultural heritage.

The town house (to the right) is also the work of Jan Kotěra. The structure, whose bevelled corner enables the view of the museum from Prague Bridge, was built after Kotěra’s death in 1923.

In Osvoboditelů Square (to the left) there stand the National Bank (1931, now the Commercial Bank) and the former District Economic Savings Bank (1932–33). Both of the structures were designed by the architect Jan Rejchl.

the National Bank

 the National Bank

the Municipal Museum

 the Municipal Museum

the town house

 the town house

Stop 2 – Smetana’s Embankment

The opposite embankment was implemented subject to the regulatory plan of the architect Josef Gočár, based on the ancient ideals of the physical and spiritual beauty of man. The museum and the non-implemented Municipal Gallery was followed up by Sokolovna (1929–1930) from the architect Milan Babuška, which comprises of a gymnasium, track and field stadium, as well as a restaurant and concert hall for the then Sokol Philharmonic Orchestra (currently the Hradec Králové Philharmonic Orchestra). The City Bath House (1932–1933), designed by the architect Oldřich Liska, ranked among the most modern in the then Czechoslovakia particularly thanks to the swimming pool with artificial waves. An Art Nouveau bridge (1914) according to the design of František Sander spanned Piletice Brook, whose flow was later diverted.

The Palace of Garages (1932) was designed by the architect and master builder Josef Fňouk. This unique technical construction which served as garages for three hundred automobiles and offered car servicing, a car wash and a filling station, also ranked among the most modern facilities of its kind in our country.

Tyrš Bridge with a 40 metre span over the River Elbe was designed and built by the Fifka and Moravec company from Prague, the bridgehead layout including banisters is the work of Josef Gočár (1933).

the Palace of Garages

 the Palace of Garages

the City Bath House

 the City Bath House

Sokol Philharmonic Orchestra

 Sokol Philharmonic Orchestra

Stop 3 – Freedom Square

The building to the left – the former Business Academy (1896-1897, now the Faculty of Education of Hradec Králové University) was designed by Hubert Gessner and Otokar Bém, the pupils of the Viennese  architect Otto Wagner, the later annex (1923) was designed by Hubert Gessner and Oldřich Liska. The sculptural decoration was carried out by Jaroslav Maixner. Nearby stands the State Teachers’ Institute (1899–1900, currently the Faculty of Arts of Hradec Králové University). The residential house of the merchant Josef Juliš of the then very original design with a top cylindrical motif on the roof (1908-1910), later to be the seat of the Moravian Bank, is the work of the architect Bohumil Waigant.

The architecture of the Prague Bridge over the River Elbe (1909–1910) – stone balustrades, masts, illumination and round pavilion structures on the bridgeheads were designed by Jan Kotěra. A Neo-Renaissance house on the opposite Eliška’s Embankment for master builder Viktor Weinhengst (1898) was constructed according to the designs of architects Rudolf Němec and Bedřich Bendelmayer.

Business Academy

 Business Academy

the house of the merchant Josef Juliš

 the house of the merchant Josef Juliš

the Prague Bridge

 the Prague Bridge

Stop 4 – Masaryk Square

Masaryk Square was designed as a chamber public area in the early 1920s by Josef Gočár, who also made the plan for the corner building of the former Anglo-Czechoslovakian Bank (1922-23). For its façade Gočár chose subtle rondo-cubistic features with a stylised letter M, which can be found also on the neighbouring houses, thus preparing a unique background for the Monument of Tomáš G. Masaryk, created by the sculptor Otto Gutfreund. Gočár conceived the area of the monument in the parquet circle as a curved sector opening to the width of the buildings in the background. The eventful fate of the monument is documented by the years of its unveiling and re-unveiling - 1926, 1947 and 1990. Most of the residential development on the southern side of the square (second half of the 1920s) was designed by the architect Oldřich Liska. The dominating structure of the square is the former Trades House (1912), built according to the design of the architect Vladimír Fultner.

Anglo-Czechoslovakian Bank

 Anglo-Czechoslovakian Bank

Monument of Tomáš G. Masaryk

 Monument of Tomáš G. Masaryk

Trades House

 Trades House

Stop 5 - Ulrich Square

The square area was designed by Josef Gočár as a new centre of the modern Hradec Králové, which was to be a counterpoise to the old town. The symmetrical composition of the square with four high corner buildings emerged in the mid 1990s.

The square is dominated by two buildings. On the northern side the architect Otakar Novotný placed a palace for the owner of textile factories - Rudolf Steinský-Sehnoutka (1928–1929). The frontage of the building is embellished with a stone relief of the god of commerce – Mercury with a figural allegory of textile production created by the sculptor Karel Dvořák. The south side of the square is made up of an administrative building, originally intended as the seat of the regional Headquarters of the State Railway (1929-1932). The structure, created by Josef Gočár symmetrically from two halls with galleries placed in a perpendicular line to the front wing, is an excellent example of constructivist architecture. The entrance to the building is decorated with the sculptured stone frieze from the artist Bedřich Stefan.

the Steinsky Palace

 the Steinsky Palace

Headquarters of the State Railway

 Headquarters of the State Railway

Ulrich's Square

 Ulrich's Square

Stop 6 - Congregation of the Priest Ambrož

The functionalistic complex of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church of the Priest Ambrož (1926-1928) is an excellent example of the urban composition erected on an atypical triangular-shaped building plot. The difficult task of connecting the nave structure with administrative buildings of the diocese and parsonage, as well as with the tastefully arranged columbarium was immaculately dealt with by the architect Josef Gočár. The columbarium of the Congregation contains an urn with the ashes of Mayor František Ulrich, who led the city of Hradec Králové in1895-1929.

The corner functionalist house of the entrepreneur Karel Löwenbach (1939) was designed by Heinrich Kulka, a pupil and co-worker of the architect Adolf Loos. The residential blocks in front of the Congregation of the Priest Ambrož were designed as symmetrically open, the vista of the radial Střelecká Avenue is closed off by two mansions (1932), designed by the architect Oldřich Liska.

Congregation of the Priest Ambrož

 Congregation of the Priest Ambrož

Buildings of the diocese and parsonage

 Buildings of the diocese and parsonage

Columbarium

 Columbarium

Stop 7 – Gočár’s Schools

The grounds of the former State Rašín Grammar School (1925–1927, now J. K. Tyl Grammar School) was built according to the design of Josef Gočár. The complex consists of a school building, as well as a gymnasium and director’s mansion. The monumental corner face is embellished with a bronze statue of the “Winner” (1928) by Jan Štursa, placed on a six metre concrete column. To the right of the entrance there is as stone block with the state emblem of the Czechoslovak Republic (1925–1927) created by the sculptor Otto Gutfreund.

A modern complex of elementary and council schools, including a nursery school (1927–28), designed yet again by Josef Gočár, ranked among the most modern establishments in the country in its time due to the liberal concept and internal layout and equipment. The west wing of the school complex was not built until the end of the 1950s according to plans by Václav Rohlíček, who kept to Gočár’s original dispositional layout.

the complex of elementary and council schools

 the complex of elementary and council schools

State Rašín Grammar School

 State Rašín Grammar School

a nursery school

 a nursery school

Stop 8 - Hydroelectric Power Station on the River Elbe

The Hydroelectric Power Station on the River Elbe with a radial gate and a bridge called Hučák (1910–1912) was built according to the design of the architect František Sander. The unique and today still functional technical work was not completed until the early 1930s.

In 1926–1928 the architect Josef Gočár produced a modern regulatory plan of Hradec Králové. In it he proposed to surround the old town with a belt of greenery or water and divided the new residential quarters interconnected with a ring road into five sectors, which were separated by quiet zones and each linked to the old town by one radial road.

the old weir

 the old weir

the Hydroelectric Power Station on the River Elbe

 the Hydroelectric Power Station on the River Elbe

the Hydroelectric Power Station on the River Elbe

 the Hydroelectric Power Station on the River Elbe

Stop 9 - Confluence of the Rivers Elbe and Orlice 

Jirásek’s Park was founded on the confluence of the Rivers Elbe and Orlice in 1867-1868. Originally there had been plots with fruit trees and meadows belonging to the stronghold. At first the newly set up park served only for officers of the local garrison and remained closed to civilians. It was opened to the public at the end of the 19th century and in the 1920s it was extended to today’s overall area of almost six hectares. At that time a beautiful rosarium was founded according to the plan of the Prague landscape architect Josef Kumpán. The period of Hradec Králové as Emperor Joseph’s military stronghold is witnessed here by the remains of the fortification system, for example a short and two metre high tunnel called a postern.

In 1934 a bronze sculpture - an allegorical depiction of the Confluence of the Rivers Elbe and Orlice from the sculptor Josef Škoda was unveiled in Jirásek’s Park.

the confluence of the Rivers Elbe and Orlice

 the confluence of the Rivers Elbe and Orlice

an allegorical sculpture

 an allegorical sculpture

Jirásek's Park

 Jirásek's Park

Stop 10 - Jirásek’s Park

The wooden Orthodox Church of St. Nicolas was originally built in the village of Habura u Medzilaborců in the early 16th century. In the mid 18th century it was bought by the village of Malá Poľana, which after having built a stone church in 1929 sold the wooden one to the city of Hradec Králové. The church was installed in Jirásek’s Park at the cost of the then Mayor Josef V. B. Pilnáček in 1935.

Near the entrance to the park a monument was unveiled in 1922 to honour the novel “Brotherhood” written by the novelist Alois Jirásek. The monument was created by Bohumil Lizner and the commemorative plaque with the writer’s portrait is the work of Jaroslav Plichta.

The summer restaurant pavilion in the central area of the park (1929–1933) was built according to the design of the architect Jan Rejchl, who having been inspired by the River Orlice conceived the structure as the cabin of river steamboat.

Church of St. Nicolas

 Church of St. Nicolas

the summer restaurant pavilion

 the summer restaurant pavilion

the monument of Alois Jirásek

 the monument of Alois Jirásek

Stop 11 - At Grand

The former Urban Grand Hotel was a result of the reconstruction of three buildings. The Art Nouveau District House (1903, 1904, now Kotěra Hotel) was the very first construction of the architect Jan Kotěra in Hradec Králové; the corner hotel building (1928) was designed by the architect and master builder Josef Fňouk and the gala hall (1910–1911), which also served as the first motion-picture theatre in the town, the so-called Palm Garden, was the work of Jan Kotěra.

On Československé armády Avenue there are two houses, namely Nos. 556 and 543 (1909–1913), which were designed by the architect Bohumil Waigant. The first was constructed on the orders of the master builder Josef Jihlavec, and the second for the master builder Václav Rejchl senior.

The Classicist building of the former Adalbertinum (1895–1897, now the Cultural and Educational Society of Hradec Králové) was built according to the design of the architect František Hellmann. Originally the structure served as a Catholic Diocese House.

the District House

 the District House

the former Austrian Bank (on the spot of Česká spořitelna)

 the former Austrian Bank (on the spot of Česká spořitelna)

the house No. 556

 the house No. 556

Download the booklet of the Walking Route II published by Tourist Information Centre:

Salon of the Republic - booklet.pdf

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